Retirement, Marital discord and “Impingement”

Are you looking forward to stress free and enjoyable retired life? Plan to do things which you always wanted to do? Spend quality time with you wife? If so, then think again, a surprise awaits you.

On retirement you get 1/3 of superannuation amount (rest 2/3 is kept by insurance company on which they pay you pathetic amount as life time “pension”), gratuity, provident fund (again some amount is retained by government for paying you pension which is even more pathetic than superannuation pension), encashment of leave and a decent parting gift.


Ideally for first few years employee and his spouse should enjoy life (after a period of time monster called “inflation” starts eating your savings) as they get time for each other, but surprisingly in some cases these initial years cause marital discord.

An interesting story was narrated by Dr. Abhijit Gangopadhyay of TISS. One employee took VRS, after few days his wife met a lawyer and told him that she wanted divorce!

Reason was employee was micro manager, after retirement he started micro managing his wife. His wife tolerated him as long as he was working, because at least during his working hours she had freedom to do what she wanted to do, now with husband sitting home whole day, her tolerance limit had reached saturation point.



Tanya R Fitzpatrick and Suzanne Bushfield carried out research in US on impact of employee’s retirement on their wives. Most wives cited “impingement” problems as the most difficult part of their husbands’ retirement.

The researchers then developed an “impingement” scale and administered it to these women and to a second sample of women, they were surprised to find that women whose husbands had been retired for four or more years reported even more impingement problems than women whose husbands were only a year from retirement!

Perceptions that their husbands were disrupting their lives were correlated with marital dissatisfaction.



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